GIBSON CITY - GCMS Area Community Chest is hoping to reach their goal of $20,000 for this year’s fund drive. This amount was established to meet the needs of various organizations that have requested funds this year, including the Ford County Youth Soccer Club, PACT, CAPS, Girl Scouts Unit 619, GCMS Youth Football and Cheerleading Program, Gibson Area Telecare, Gibson Area Swim Team, ACT Theatre Company, Gibson City Youth Baseball/Softball League and Cub Scouts Pack 185.

Donations can be sent to: GCMS Area Community Chest, P.O. Box 164, Gibson City, IL 60936.

CAPS (Community After School Program) is an after-school program that provides quality child care for families in the GCMS School District. CAPS provides children with a safe environment where they can participate in a variety of activities, including homework time, arts and crafts, computer time and outside playtime. CAPS is supported by numerous organizations in the GCMS area.

Girl Scouts Unit 619 of the GCMS School District is currently made up of about 30 adults and 100 children ranging in age from kindergarten through 12th grade. The Girl Scouts are active in several local functions, the largest being the yearly flag retirement ceremony. Other activities include an annual pizza party followed by Christmas caroling to the local communities, Easter egg hunts in the Hospital Annex and helping the seniors in the community. Lasting friendships are developed though twilight camps, pool parties and sleepovers.

Gibson Area Telecare is a nonprofit organization that serves senior citizens who may need transportation in or out of town. Telecare was started in March 1974 by volunteers wanting to make a difference. More than 5,000 trips were made last year serving the local community and helping local citizens. These trips include transportation to beauty shops, the post office, banks, stores and doctors' appointments. For more information, please call 217-784-4891.

The GCMS Youth Football and Cheerleading Program is growing quickly and has just completed its 11th year. The objectives of the programs are to familiarize youth with the fundamentals of football and cheerleading and to give youth an opportunity to participate in a team-motivated environment in a supervised, organized and safe way. The local program is governed by a board of directors and is a member of the Central Illinois Football League (CIFL) along with teams from the surrounding area.

PACT (Parents and Children/Community Together) is the Drug and Violence Prevention Community Task Force for GCMS School District. PACT works in partnership with school districts, churches and other community groups and agencies to provide programs for GCMS students, parents and community members. Some of the activities funded either in part or in whole by PACT include Red Ribbon Week, the GCMS Mentoring Program, student assemblies, parent and community speakers, teacher trainings, Class Connect activities and the GCMS All-School Trip. For more information about PACT or to find out how you can get involved, contact Cathy Walker-Steidinger at 217-784-8731 ext. 2112.

Ford County Youth Soccer Club is a recreation soccer league that provides young people the opportunity to enjoy and practice the game they love. The league presently serves over 200 young players ages 3 through 14. FCYSC offers a fall season that runs from mid-August to mid-October and a spring season that runs from late March to mid-May. FCYSC is a not-for-profit organization which operates using funds collected through registration fees and fundraising activities. A priority of the FCYSC board is the development of a top notch soccer complex. The club’s mission is to provide a great soccer experience for its players, coaches, referees and spectators. FCYSC promotes the concept that how the game is played is more important than winning itself.

Gibson City Area Swim Team is a summer program for children entering kindergarten through age 18. There are two levels, the kickboard/beginners and the competitive main team. No one is turned away. It is open to those living in and around Gibson City. The goal of the program is to instruct the children on proper swimming techniques and encourage them to continue their swimming experience with confidence in the future. The home meets give the kickboard/beginners team an opportunity to swim with the main team. Everyone who participates at a meet is awarded place ribbons.

ACT Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children of all ages explore their world though performing arts. The group holds open auditions in the spring and produces one or two musicals during the summer. One show is always open to anyone who wants to perform, regardless of skill level. Every member of the company is taught the basics of stage performance, vocalization and movement. As each performer masters a skill they are challenged to move to the next level of performance. Participants are also given opportunities to work with staging, costuming, lights and sound, set building and promotional aspects of theater. Equipment is a big part of putting on a production, and with the help of Community Chest, ACT is striving to purchase their own.

Gibson City Youth Baseball/Softball League is a local organization which provides instruction and competition in baseball and softball for boys and girls ages 5 to 17 years of age. During the summer the teams compete in Gibson City and surrounding areas. GCYBL is a not-for-profit organization which operates using funds collected through registration fees, fundraising and donations. These funds are used to purchase needed equipment for all age groups and keep the ball fields well maintained for the youth.

Cub Scouts Pack 185 is a member of the Boy Scouts of America’s Prairielands Council. Since 1930, Cub Scouting has played an important role in the lives of boys in grades first through fifth, or ages 7 through 10. The adult Scout Leaders and parents work together to help the scouts achieve the 10 purposes of Cub Scouting—character development, spiritual growth, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fitness, family understanding, respectful relationships, personal achievement, friendly service, fun and adventure and preparation for Boy Scouts. Scouts also enjoy traveling to state parks, the Scouting Museum and the popular Pinewood Derby.

Meals on Wheels is the national association for nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies engaged directly in the provision of meals and/or nutrition services predominantly to seniors. Its benefits and initiatives exist to help equip the member programs in the shared vision of ending senior hunger. Membership signifies a commitment to providing quality, accessible meals and comfort and assurance to the senior clients and their families.

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